With the very low-key, barely advertised release of Halloween this Friday, let’s take a look at some of the other slasher movies set around this holiday…
Trick or Treats (1982): A babysitter and an obnoxious brat on Halloween night. His father has recently escaped from the asylum and is coming home to get even with the wife and her lover who put him there. One murder does not a slasher movie make.
Cemetery of Terror (1985): Dumb teens steal the corpse of a recently-departed serial killer for their Halloween night seance. He is resurrected and the obvious ensues, but also a lot of the non-obvious, such as every other buried body in the graveyard reanimating and chasing a group of young kids who dropped by for hi-jinks. Deranged fun from Mexico.
Hack-O-Lantern (1987): Small town Satanists are suspected of killing locals as a big Halloween party looms. From the director of the equally insipid Open House, don’t expect a whole lot of tricks or treats – just a film that looks like those who made it were embarrassed to be making a slasher movie.
Hollow Gate (1988): Two teen couples are given free wigs if they’ll deliver some Halloween costumes to a secluded manor house!! There, they are hunted by the psychotic who dwells within. One guy is savaged by Labradors! Another chick practically stands there and waits to be run over by the world’s slowest moving combine harvester.
HauntedWeen (1991): College kids set up a walk-through scare fest at the house where a murder occurred twenty tears earlier just as the psycho rolls back into town. A festival of terrible, terrible hair and fashion, but at least this quirky rarity isn’t boring.
Jack-O (1995): Beer-guzzling teens unearth a demon with an oversized pumpkin for a head, that picks up its ancient mission to rid the world of a family bloodline. Linnea Quigley is out to stop it. Fred Olen Ray produced, so that should tell us all we need to know.
The Fear: Resurrection (1999): The creepy wooden mannequin from the first Fear movie, Morty, stalks again, as college kids go and visit Betsy Palmer’s house. Confusing with loads of unanswered questions and the more boring the character, the more likely they are to survive.
Head Cheerleader, Dead Cheerleader (2000): “Two-four-six-eight, who do we decapitate?” Bimbo pom-pom wavers are menaced by a killer on Halloween night. Cheapest of the cheap, with a repeated boobs being lopped off and a shitty, homophobic ending.
American Nightmare (2000): Student friends tune into the titular Halloween radio broadcast that leads to them being hunted down and done away with by the psychotic nurse (Debbie Rochon) who has abducted the sister of the nominal final girl. Costume party drug-induced stabbings, live burial, weird ending. This is an obscure one, but worth a look all the same.
Paranoid (2000): The Conscience Killer is at large in the small town of Sugar Hill, Georgia, offing various teens during another Halloween haunted house thingy. This Australian Scream-clone features a bolshy news anchor named Kate Winsail!
Dark Walker (2003): One of those Haunted House things is erected on a cursed pumpkin patch (!), allowing a scarecrow-monster thing to rise again and kill the teenage employees.
Hellbent (2004): The first gay slasher flick: A quartet of friends are stalked by a musclebound, masked lunatic during Halloween night festivities in Los Angeles. Some awesome scenes elevate the clear budgetary restrictions.
Satan’s Little Helper (2004): A kid obsessed with the titular computer game believes he’s helping out with some Halloween pranks when a masked guy appears in his hometown – but these murders are real, which is obvious to everyone bar said kid. Fun little comic horror helmed by the director of Just Before Dawn.
The Hollow (2004): An impressive cast roster including Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory, Kevin Zegers, Judge Reinhold, Stacy Keach, and Eileen Brennan highlight this TV movie about the ancestor of Ichabod Crane battling a headless horseman.
Halloween Night (2006): Asylum-produced cash-in on Rob Zombie’s then-incoming Halloween remake, apparently set in 1992 but featuring characters with cell phones and digital cameras. This is a fairly basic killer-storms-a-costume-party thing with some acceptable production unities, but seriously unlikeable characters.
The Pumpkin Karver (2006): A brother and sister who were involved in the prank-gone-wrong death of a friend, move to a new town where, at a Halloween party, a pumpkin-headed loon starts turning the teens into Jack-O-Lanterns. 99% of the action is saved for the last 25 minutes, making this one a real endurance test.
Mr Halloween (2006): Teens tend to go missing in a small town at an alarming rate around Halloween. A girl is kidnapped and finds her friend who vanished a year earlier has been tied up in the assailant’s garage all year (though his hair curiously hasn’t grown). It’s all to make realistic body parts for his haunted house thingy. Same old same old with some ridiculous plot oversights that runs for almost two hours.
Hayride (2012): A haunted hayride attraction becomes the stalking ground for a pitchfork-wielding loon, who sets about eliminating the actors who’re supposed to scare the guests. Cheap and predictable, but not wholly awful.
Terrifier (2017): A psychotic clown abducts two young women after a Halloween party and tortures them to death. A scene where a naked woman is suspended upside down only to be sawn from between the legs all the way up to the neck crosses the line. Get fucked.
The Legend of Halloween Jack (2018): Umm…